Blake Seniors Tackle Their Football Dreams

These five players have represented Blake football for the last four years. They have gone from being freshmen on an up-and-coming team to seniors leading their team to an undefeated regular season – the first in program history. Now, Zandrew Kamara, Denis Tebo, Nick Kouao, Taj Kontosis, and Davian Marmolejos will all continue their respective careers at the collegiate level. 

Kamara will attend Edinboro University, a D-II program located in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Tebo committed to Bowie State University, another D-II program in Bowie, Maryland. Nick pledged to D-II program West Virginia Wesleyan, and both Taj and Davian will continue their careers at D-III school Salisbury University. All players were key contributors to a team that went undefeated and made it all the way to the state semifinals. 

When asked about what it means for this program, head football coach Bryon Marshall said β€œwe have good players going to good programs. I think it means a lot when you win eleven games and five guys get to go play football at the next level.” 

Each of these five players made big contributions in guiding this team to a perfect regular season, division championship, and a regional championship. 

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with four of the five and asked them questions about their time at Blake and what lies ahead of them:

How does it feel to be able to continue your playing career at the collegiate level?

Davian  – Feels good. Being able to play the sport I love at the next level. Being able to have the blessing to play football in college. It’s a great feeling. 

Zandrew – The greatest gift I could ask for. Having the opportunity to continue my career and grow as an athlete and a human being. No better feeling than that. 

Nick – It really feels good. This was the goal of mine to get to the next level and play football for college and help it pay for school. It feels good knowing most of the work that you did is paying off. 

Taj – It feels good. It’s not something I thought I was going to do, but you know stuff you want to do in life changes sometimes so it feels good. 

What has Coach Marshall meant to you throughout your career? 

Davian – Having Marshall as my coach was a pretty good experience. Having a coach that actually cares for you, that actually wants to see you succeed and is able to send you to the next level is pretty good to have a coach like that. 

Zandrew – Playing sophomore year and having him as my JV coach, I always thought he was a good coach. And when I knew that he got the head coaching job, I felt like he was going to change this program for the better. So it’s been really nice having him as my coach. 

Nick – Ever since JV, when we went undefeated and had to bump up some players, I knew when he got the job, I knew our varsity season was going to be like, β€œthe sky’s the limit for us.” Because after all the stuff we did on JV, I knew we had the talent and the great coaches to go undefeated. 

Taj – Coach Marshall did a lot for us and did a lot for me and the team. He really prepared us for on the field and off the field and really helped us through college. 

What is a favorite memory of yours that you’ll carry with you as you go on to college and beyond?

Davian – Being able to graduate and leaving off playing football in high school on a good note. 

Zandrew – Winning the regional championship with my teammates; beating PB and Sherwood and having fun celebrating those moments in the locker room. 

Nick – Being able to be known as the team that set a lot of history for the school for football and putting banners up. 

Taj – The Sherwood and PB game because the atmosphere was so live. If you weren’t on the field, you wouldn’t be able to feel that type of energy. 

How would you say you have grown as an athlete and a person during your four years in high school?

Davian – It helped me mature a lot better on and off the field. It opened my eyes to see who’s really gonna be around you, stay with you. And most of my teammates helped me stay down, get it together, and help my grades come up. 

Zandrew – As a person I learned how to start taking life more seriously, focus on the bigger goals, being more disciplined, not sacrificing the fun stuff for the serious stuff – instead of hanging with my friends and hitting the weight room. And as an athlete, it made me more mature, in a sense, that I take everything I do more seriously, even at practice. 

Nick – From my sophomore year to my senior year, I think I definitely have matured a lot, but I still got more maturing to do. 

Taj – I’ve grown a lot mentally and physically – smarter and stronger. So that’s where I’ve grown on.  

Mr. Marshall has a Signing Day planned for April 13 at 11:30 in the main gym. As for the five seniors continuing their journeys, as well as the other seniors graduating, they leave behind a legacy that will be remembered forever.